Refractell-S (Star Refractol Substitute), High Viscosity, High Refractive Asterism/Star Check - (Contact to request shiping for multi items)

$5.00+
+ $3.50 shipping
$5.00
$8.00
$8.75
$5.00+
+ $3.50 shipping
In stock
Ships next business day
Arrives from the United States
Returns accepted
See this seller's return policy

Item details

----> Go here to see all listings for this material: <----
https://www.etsy.com/shop/NorthernWestStuff?ref=hdr_shop_menu&search_query=refractell

Please note that this is not a single ingredient, it is a mixture. It's similar to the original "Refractol" but NOT identical.

This comes in 3 sizes: 2 dropper bottle sizes, which are most useful for putting a drop or two onto a stone, and 1 clear glass jar size, for those who might want to use it in a different way. Please note that if you dispense it into other containers, DON'T put it into a clear plastic container, all clear plastics that I know of will cloud up & soften from organic fluids.

I've written a new detailed safety section on Refractell at the bottom just above "COMBINED SHIPPING". It's rather lengthy, so I'll state the short version up here: Refractell is non-toxic, safe to use daily (there are no fumes), and it's not flammable (unless you directed a torch right onto the liquid; it is also self-extinguishing). The only way to effectively use it is with stone tweezers, so it's not likely you would dunk your fingers into it, but you should avoid getting it on sensitive areas of your skin like wrists. Occasional contact with fingertips should not pose a problem.

This comes in two viscosities: high and medium. The medium viscosity only comes in one size at the moment in another listing. The high viscosity is approximately 20,000 cps. I arrived at that figure by comparing it to the known viscosity of several silicone oils I carry. I have a 10,000 cps silicone and that is definitely "thinner" than the Refractell-S. Knowing the differences between the "steps" in viscosities of the silicone oil, I believe the 20,000 cps figure is close, but if it's off some I think it could be somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000. The last picture gives you an idea of how viscous it is. I tipped the jar on it's side, then set it upright and took the picture before it flowed back and leveled out. It will flow, but it's fairly slow.
This material is difficult to formulate and the ingredients aren't cheap. The medium viscosity is somewhat less involved and so is a little less expensive. It is a substitute for "Star Refractol", a thickish liquid used by lapidarists to check gemstone rough for asterisms, commonly known as "stars", and along with a bright light it was used to orient them in the best viewing position. I tried to find the original Star Refractol a while back and could not locate any of it anywhere. This substitute is 10 grams of the high viscosity version in a polyethylene dropper bottle.
On lapidary forums I saw mention of people finding both Refractol and Star Refractol very useful. I also saw the substitutes that people used which seemed to work for them (honey, anise oil, brake fluid, cinnamon oil, wintergreen oil). The original Star Refractol was viscous (thick like honey) so a drop or two could be placed on a stone and form a slow flowing domed bead instead of running off like water as the low viscosity Refractol would. I was able to duplicate the "Refractol" liquid but the "Star Refractol" was another matter. After about 10 times the effort, I believe I made a good substitute. It duplicates the high viscosity, high refractive index, and crystal clarity of the original.
I looked up how it was used so I could get an idea of how viscous to make it (I ended up making 2 viscosities). I found several guides for using it in the process. Just in case you're not familiar with the original material, here's a brief guide for how it was used:
http://www.thegemdoctor.com/wp/2010/08/orienting-star-stones/

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Safety Section:

I've had a couple of customers ask if there's anything in Refractell that's unsafe or toxic. I've been meaning to address that in these listing descriptions.

Is it non-toxic, and safe? Presupposing you don't do the ridiculous- wash large areas of your body with it or drink it- the answer is categorically yes, it is not harmful.

The MSDS sheets give the ingredients a relatively high passing grade in the non-hazardous arena. I use the word "relatively" because you do need to use common sense. The one thing some MSDS sheets warn about is "skin sensitization" in some people who repeatedly have skin contact. "Sensitization" means that you will develop allergic reactions, most commonly a rash, if skin contact occurs again. Although, apparently the potential for sensitization is not universally recognized. Some MSDS sheets state "skin sensitization is not likely to occur".

It's very common to see the potential for sensitization in hydrocarbons. Many essential oils, solvents, glues, perfumes, personal care ingredients, and oils, have that capacity. One well known resin, epoxy, stands out as one of the worst. Cyanoacrylates and other acrylic resins and monomers (Super Glue and acrylics used by fingernail artists) are other resins that can cause it. Pretty much any of the thousands of compounds derived from crude oil are included in the list.

There is one other potential hazard that comes with hydrocarbons and that is flammability. MSDS sheets give the ingredients in Refractell a low fire danger. I tested this as I do with other hydrocarbons new to me. I put a small puddle of the liquid in a common dinner spoon in the driveway and put the flame from a mini-torch directly onto the puddle at arms length. This material passed the test to my satisfaction. It took about 5 seconds to get the puddle to actually ignite. Its flame was low and weak. As soon as I removed the torch the flame on the puddle extinguished itself.

One of the physical properties of Refractell is low vapor pressure, which means it evaporates very slowly. This is good to know because there is no fire hazard from fumes. Another physical property is non-reactivity with other materials. In MSDS sheets this is often phrased as "is hazardous polymerization expected". The answer is no for all ingredients. Others are "chemical stability" and "hazardous decomposition". The answers are yes for chemical stability and no for hazardous decomposition. As would be expected from the above information, all ingredients are non-DOT regulated.
Don't hesitate to ask if you have any other safety concerns or questions about this product.-
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-------------------------------> COMBINED SHIPPING <----------------------------------
Shipping cost will be reduced when buying multiple items that are small & light weight. To see total cost with actual shipping, mark the items you want as favorites, then message me with a request for actual shipping of your favorited items. Or, list your items in a message, requesting ship cost. I'll send you the cost & if you approve I'll make a reserved listing.
Or, just buy the items in your cart. I will do a refund for the ship overage as soon as I see your order. (Don't want to message me? I automatically check for ship overages, & will make a refund if applicable).
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FAQs

I'm sorry, but at this time we do not ship internationally.

If you would like a smaller or larger quantity of a raw material, click the "Request a custom order" button and tell us how much you would like. Or just contact us and let us know what you'd like. We'll get back to you ASAP.

This problem usually occurs with multiple items. Where possible, we're converting to calculated shipping. We originally didn't provide it because we sell so many dissimilar items (size, weight, etc), that it would not be possible to do it accurately. If your shipping cost is high, you can do one of the following: If you see "Request a Custom Order", "Contact", or "Ask a Question" on an item's page, you may use it to request a reserved listing. You may copy and paste a list of the items in your cart, send a screen shot of your items, or simply favorite them, and request a "reserved" or "custom" order. Or you may do nothing. We will see your multiple items & will always refund excess shipping charges before shipping your items.

If you have a technical question about an item we've listed, please don't hesitate to ask. We enjoy helping people out with a material or a process. We give anecdotal information in our listings if we have any. If you disagree with it or think we're being inaccurate or misleading please let us know that, too. If there are discrepancies in any of our listings let us know, we make mistakes like everybody and we'd like to be set straight and get those mistakes corrected.

I'm sorry, but at this time we do not ship internationally.

If you would like a smaller or larger quantity of a raw material, click the "Request a custom order" button and tell us how much you would like. Or just contact us and let us know what you'd like. We'll get back to you ASAP.

This problem usually occurs with multiple items. Where possible, we're converting to calculated shipping. We originally didn't provide it because we sell so many dissimilar items (size, weight, etc), that it would not be possible to do it accurately. If your shipping cost is high, you can do one of the following: If you see "Request a Custom Order", "Contact", or "Ask a Question" on an item's page, you may use it to request a reserved listing. You may copy and paste a list of the items in your cart, send a screen shot of your items, or simply favorite them, and request a "reserved" or "custom" order. Or you may do nothing. We will see your multiple items & will always refund excess shipping charges before shipping your items.

If you have a technical question about an item we've listed, please don't hesitate to ask. We enjoy helping people out with a material or a process. We give anecdotal information in our listings if we have any. If you disagree with it or think we're being inaccurate or misleading please let us know that, too. If there are discrepancies in any of our listings let us know, we make mistakes like everybody and we'd like to be set straight and get those mistakes corrected.



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